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Writing Sentences

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I work with ESL students in grades 1-5. For the students who have limited English proficiency, I found this activity to get them excited about writing.

I have three envelopes labeled: nouns, verbs, and descriptive words. In each envelope, I put in index cards with one word on each. The students then pull one word from each envelope and using the three words, they create a sentence. They are allowed to add other words and they may change the form of the word (i.e. sing to singing).

Depending on the words I put in, the sentences can get really funny. I try to change the words to keep up with holidays, current events, etc.
I may even surprise them by putting in cards with their names on them.

If you want to work on writing paragraphs, have the student write the first sentence as directed above. They then choose to keep one of the words and select new ones for the other two categories. (This allows them to connect one thought with the next). They can go on like this until they have 4-5 sentences. Have them cut out these sentences and lay them out on their desks. They may add connecters or transition words in between. Before long, they've written a paragraph.(This activity even works well with non-ESL students). Let me know how this works out or if you have any questions, ideas, etc.

Name: Meenal Parikh
Email: [email protected]
Location: N. Olmsted, OH USA

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